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Spokane Valley

Archive for December 2012

Saturday’s highlights

Firefighters build steps to get a horse out of a pool in the 17000 block of East Montgomery on Dec. 18. The horse was not injured when it fell through the pool cover. Photo courtesy the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

Good morning on this last day of 2012. We have some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice in case you missed them. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on Spokane Valley Heritage Museum volunteer Peggy Taylor. The museum recently threw a surprise 89th birthday party for the longtime volunteer.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department performed a unique rescue recently when a horse broke through the cover of a swimming pool. Fire crews and citizens built makeshift steps so the horse could climb out of the shallow end.

The city of Liberty Lake has decided to stick with SCRAPS for animal control services after considering switching to SpokAnimal. The city council recently approved a new contract and included funds for the contract in the 2013 budget.

Today’s highlights

During curling practice at the Riverfront Park Ice Palace, Josh Engle throws a stone. For the first time in 30-some years, Spokane has a curling league. The new league is full of new curlers, with 80 percent of participants having never curled before. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Welcome back. I hope everyone had a nice holiday. It's Thursday again, which means some highlights from today's Valley Voice. Spokane Valley Fire Department Chief Mike Thompson has announced plans to retire in March. The chief has overseen international accreditation, a regional ambulance contract and the construction of three fire stations and an administration building during his eight years leading the department.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has another entry in the East Farms Diary. She has been a regular visitor at the school as the students focus on science, technology, engineering, art and math. This story is about the fourth-grade students' efforts at launching businesses selling various products.

Repoter Pia Hallenberg has an interesting story on the new Lilac City Curling Club. Curling is popular in Canada, but most of us only see it on television during the Olympics. The group is starting up a curling league even though many players don't have any experience. They're in it for the fun.

Santa making his rounds in Spokane Valley

Given the events in the news today, kids (and parents) may need a bit of holiday cheer. Spokane Valley Fire Department crews will be helping Santa make his rounds in several Spokane Valley neighborhoods over the next week. While the firefighters will do their best to keep Santa on schedule, sometimes the sleigh breaks down or Rudolph gets sick. He usually starts his rounds at 6 p.m. 

Tonight Santa will be in the area south of 16th Avenue, north of 32nd Avenue, east of Dishman-Mica Road and west of Pines Road. Saturday: the area south of 16th Avenue, north of 32nd Avenue, east of Evergreen Road and west of Chapman Road (Saltese area). Sunday: the area south of Wellesley Ave., north of Trent, east of Evergreen and west of Flora Road. Friday, Dec. 21: the area south of Euclid Ave., north of Mission Ave., east of Flora Road and west of Harvard Road.

Additional dates and locations may be scheduled, but that's all there is for right now.

On another note, I'll be away from the blog next week and won't be around to post. Happy holidays, everyone.

Today’s highlights

Chief Bob Anderson of Spokane County Fire District 9 has retired after more than 25 years with Spokane County Fire. He’s shown at District 9's Station 92 on Friday. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

We've got some great stuff in today's Valley Voice to go over while to wait to see if we ever get any snow that sticks around longer than required to make the streets slippery. Spokane County Fire District 9 Chief Bob Anderson has retired. In fact, he's probably sipping coffee in his retirement home in Boise as I type this. He's had a very long career that is very unusual for its tenure (26 years as chief) and his expertise in incident management that has helped make the whole state safer.

The Spokane Valley City Council came through for Valleyfest again, voting to give the organization $35,200 in lodging tax funds after the majority of the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee did not recommend funding the organization. At the end of this week's meeting, council woman Brenda Grassel made a surprise announcement that she is resigning her position because she is moving outside the city limits.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on the annual foreign exchange student mixer hosted by West Valley High School for the last 20 years. Students representing 19 countries attended the recently event.  

Another lodging tax discussion tonight

The Spokane Valley City Council is scheduled to vote at tonight's council meeting on the 2013 lodging tax funding. There has been some discussion on whether or not to fund Valleyfest. There are a few other interesting items on the agenda tonight. The city's economic development committee, which has been meeting for months, will present its final report. The Mayor will also make recommendations for appointments to vacant seats on the city's planning commission and the lodging tax advisory committee. It's a long agenda, so be prepared if you decided to attend the meeting. It starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

Barker Road near Trent closed Tuesday

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad will be shutting down Barker Road near Trent from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday. People going north on Barker will not be able to get to Trent and people on Trent will not be able to turn south on Barker. Make sure you find an alternate route for tomorrow or you might get caught in a log jam of people running into the road closure and trying to get turned around.

Saturday’s highlights

Luke Pillsbury, director of youth ministries for Opportunity Presbyterian Church on Pines Road, sits with some of the toys for the church’s toy store, where community members who are invited can get toys at a deep discount. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Welcome to a snowy, somewhat slippery Monday morning. We brought you some good stories in Saturday's Valley Voice, so lets look at some of the highlights. Opportunity Presbyterian Church opened its toy store for business Saturday, carrying on an annual tradition of providing extremely low cost toys to low income residents. The store, which is organized by the church youth, has been growing every year.

A Newman Lake woman was recently charged with animal cruelty after someone reported buying a sick puppy from her Iron Horse Kennel on Hauser Lake Road. An inspection by SCRAPS animal control officers reportedly showed other violations at the dog kennel as well. The woman, identified as Wilma L. Turner, also has a hearing scheduled for Wednesday on allegations that she has violated her probation after she pled guilty to two charges related to conditions at her kennel in 2011.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on East Farms Elementary School teacher Elisha Erickson, who was recently given an award by the Spokane Valley Fire Department for taking in two children that were dropped off at a fire station with little information. One of the children was a student of Erickson's. Lisa also has a story on a possible bond vote in the East Valley School District. The school board will meet Tuesday to decide whether or not to run a bond to modernize and repair several schools. Four previous attempts to pass a bond in recent years have failed.

The Spokane Valley City Council had several discussions during its Tuesday meeting, including a draft Shoreline Master Program restoration plan, fee amounts for 2013 and street maintenance and sweeping contracts.   

Fire damages mobile home

A mobile home in the River Rose Mobile Home Park at 2601 N. Barker Road was damaged by a fire Thursday at about 1 p.m. No one was home at the time of the fire, which appears to have started on a covered attached deck, according to a press release from the Spokane Valley FIre Department. The homeowner declined assistance from the Red Cross. The cause of the fire and an estimate of damages have not yet been determined. Photo courtesy the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

Today’s highlights

Debbie Johnson, World Relief Spokane Citizenship and Naturalization Program manager, left, works with Veniamin Avdeyev and Ana Mpawanayo, rear, as they take a civics test on Nov. 29 in Spokane. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Now is a good time to check out today's Valley Voice while we wait to see if the weatherman is right and snow is on the way. The Spokane Valley City Council appears to be ready to vote on a contract with the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service for animal control services as soon as the contract language is finalized. This would end a year of debate over whether the city should stick with SCRAPS or contract with SpokAnimal.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a couple of good stories. She wrote about people who take citizenship classes through World Relief Spokane. The classes help them prepare for their naturalization test so they can become citizens.Lisa also has another entry in the East Farms Diary. She has been spending days at the East Farms STEAM Magnet School as the kids focus on science, technology, math, engineering and art.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department commissioners picked former Central Valley School District superindendent Mike Pearson to fill a vacancy on the board of commissioners. He will be sworn in at the next commissioner's meeting.

Nearly free pets for adoption

The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) is having an “Empty the Shelter” adoption special all during December. People can adopt animals for only the cost of a license, which is $15 for cats and $25 for dogs. All the other benefits are still included - the vet check, vaccinations, a micro chip and spaying or neutering.

While it might be tempting to give someone an adorable kitten for Christmas, don't just go out and get someone a furry friend for Christmas unless you are sure the person wants a pet and would be able to take care of it. Or you can just head over and find a new friend for yourself. The shelter is located at 2521 N. Flora Road.

Another animal control discussion

Animal control is once again on the Spokane Valley City Council meeting agenda for tonight, but it appears that the end may be in sight. Tonight the council members will discuss a draft agreement with SCRAPS, who they have been negotiating with for several weeks. It looks as though the draft includes some key changes from earlier proposals, including not having an automatic yearly price increase. As of right now a vote is scheduled on whether to approve the contract at the Dec. 11 council meeting.

If you are interested in hearing tonight's discussion, the meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

A night with the Spokane Valley police

My regular blog readers will probably remember that I recently took part in a Citizen's Academy put on by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. There's a weekly class for six weeks and you get to hear deputies talk about the different roles of the Sheriff's Office. Thursday night I got the final part of my experience - a ride along with a Spokane Valley deputy.

I want to start by thanking Deputy Byron Zlateff for letting me follow him around for several hours. When we hit the road around 6 p.m. there were several calls waiting and we went dashing from one end of town to the other for several hours. I was asked to stay by the car if there was any concern for my safety, but I got to follow him for most calls. Of course, there was the “rollin' stolen,” as they call it, when I was left by the side of the road while Deputy Zlateff persued a stolen car into an apartment complex parking lot. It all ended well and I didn't have to stand out in the rain for long.

Perhaps my favorite call of the night was the man who was in the wrong place in the wrong time. Zlateff and another deputy were sent to an apartment complex on the west end of town for a person refusing to leave someone's apartment. They discovered a man walking down the street near the complex and talked to him to figure out if he was involved in the call. He was fidgety and evasive - for good reason. He was wanted on a warrant for violating his probabion. As it turns out, he had no involvement in the original call. He just had bad timing. He spent the entire ride to the Spokane County Jail proclaiming that he hadn't really done anything wrong.

You always hear about how police officers have excellent powers of observation and I saw that first hand. Zlateff was picking up on things in the dark and the rain that I didn't even notice until he pointed them out to me and I had thought I was paying attention. All in all, it was a great experience.

Saturday’s highlights

Joshua Bailey, 5, enjoys a kiwi during lunch with fellow kindergartners on Wednesday at Broadway Elementary in Spokane Valley. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

There is a strange, golden orb in the sky on this Monday morning. While we are enjoying some sunshine, check out some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on an experiment in Central Valley schools to serve lunch to half-day kindergartners. It's being tried at Broadway Elementary, where 72 percent of students quality for free or reduced price lunches.

Valleyfest organizers are once again waiting to see if they will receive lodging tax funding from the city of Spokane Valley. For the second year in a row the organization was not recommended to receive any by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.

Correspondent Valerie Putnam has a story on the discussion at the recent Millwood City Council meeting over the public access requirement for properies on the shore of the Spokane River under the state-mandated update of their Shoreline Management Program.

The town of Fairfield is looking for donations of personal hygiene items for gift baskets for local teens. There is still a week to make a donation. SCRAPS is also looking for donations as it hosts several adoption events and fund raisers during December.  

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About this blog

Welcome to the Spokane Valley blog. Here we cover news, events and information from the greater Spokane Valley area, including Millwood, Otis Orchards, Liberty Lake, Newman Lake, Rockford and Fairfield.

Stop by often to find stories, information on events received too late to print in the Valley Voice and breaking news.

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